Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Heart of an unborn baby
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Heart of an unborn baby

My brother is expecting his first child and we found out today that the baby's pulmonary artery is larger than her aerotic artery.  What can this mean?
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Dear Tgilliam,

The pulmonary artery and the aorta are the two “great” arteries that lead out from the right and left sides of the heart, respectively.  At minimum, the pulmonary artery is typically larger than the aorta in the normal fetus.  Without knowing about how much of a size discrepancy there is as well as not knowing their absolute measurements in relation to the fetus’ age, I cannot tell you whether this is a normal finding in this case, or not.  There are certainly other congenital cardiac defects in which there is a large size discrepancy, such as the aorta being too small or the pulmonary artery being too big.  I recommend that your brother’s wife be seen by a pediatric cardiologist who specializes in fetal echocardiography.  That way, a complete cardiac ultrasound can be performed, including all appropriate measurements, and a more complete interpretation of this information is possible.
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They will be folllowing up with a ped. specialist on Friday, I was just wanting to do some research in the mean time of some of the possible problems this could cause.  Thank you for your help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Tgilliam,

Any outcome from the scan ?

God Bless...
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